Turo is a car-sharing marketplace that lets you rent someone’s personal vehicle instead of going through a car rental company. This can save you money over a regular car rental, but, even if you already have car insurance, Turo rental likely isn’t covered by your insurance policy.
Drivers who borrow a car through Turo should expect to purchase supplemental car insurance coverage directly through the company, while car owners who are renting out their cars through Turo (referred to as Turo “hosts”) will also need to purchase an additional protection plan for their vehicle.
Does my car insurance cover Turo?
Probably not. While your personal car insurance policy would normally cover a rental car, using Turo to borrow a car isn’t the same as renting a car from a company like Enterprise or Hertz. If you have a personal car insurance policy, it likely doesn’t cover you for liability, comprehensive, or collision coverage while driving a Turo rental.
The same is true for Turo hosts who use the company to lend out their cars; your personal car insurance probably will not cover your car while it is being used for business purposes, so you’ll need a commercial car insurance policy or supplemental coverage through Turo to protect yourself financially.
Turo car rental insurance
Turo offers three different levels of car insurance coverage, called protection plans, for renters who use the service to borrow cars. When you rent through Turo you are required to choose a protection plan for the vehicle, but how much coverage you purchase is up to you.
Turo offers three levels of coverage through its protection plans:
Turo’s minimum plan includes the required state minimum amount of third-party liability insurance coverage — that just means the limit is based on the requirements in your state and will vary from one location to another. For example, drivers in New Jersey will have different coverage under the minimum plan than drivers in Michigan.
Turo’s minimum coverage includes a $3,000 deductible for physical damage to the rental car, meaning that if the car is damaged, you’ll have to pay out of pocket unless the damage exceeds $3,000.
It does not limit your responsibility for mechanical issues or interior damage to your Turo rental, so you could be charged for things like malfunctioning suspension or stained fabric seats if you spill your coffee in your rental vehicle.
Turo’s standard plan also includes the required state minimum amount of third-party liability insurance coverage. The coverage is secondary to your personal car insurance policy (if you have one) and if you don’t, the Turo protection plan acts as your primary coverage.
Turo’s Standard plan includes a $500 deductible for physical damage to the rental car, meaning there’s more coverage than with the minimum protection, but it does not limit your responsibility for mechanical issues or interior damage to your Turo rental, so you still could be charged for mechanical issues, like a broken headlight, or interior damage, like broken buttons on the radio.
Turo’s highest-level premier plan includes up to $750,000 in third-party liability coverage and provides 100% coverage for any physical damage to the car you rent. The coverage is secondary to your personal car insurance policy (if you have one).
That means that if you’re in an accident in a Turo rental, a claim will be filed through your personal insurance coverage first. If it is denied because your insurance company doesn’t cover carsharing, the claim will then go through your personal protection plan with Turo.
But there are some limitations to the premier Turo coverage. The premier plan does not limit your responsibility for mechanical issues or interior damage to your Turo rental, so you could be still charged for repairs if you rip one of the seats or scratch up a touch screen.
It also isn’t available to drivers under the age of 21 or for vehicles worth $60,000 or more. There are also other factors, like your trip details or the type of vehicle, that can make you ineligible for the premier plan.
Because of state laws and regulations, the premier plan offers a higher limit of $1,250,000 (and the coverage is primary) in New York.
How much does Turo insurance cost?
Turo protection plan costs are based on which plan you choose:
Minimum plan: 15% of the rental price for rentals of $250 or more, 25% of the rental price for rentals under $250.
Standard plan: 40% of the rental price.
Premier plan: 65% to 100% of the rental price.
How much is Turo insurance per day?
Turo insurance coverage has a minimum daily rate based on your plan type:
Premier plan: Renters will pay a minimum of $14 per day.
Standard plan: Renters will pay a minimum of $12 per day.
Minimum plan: Renters will pay a minimum of $10 per day.
What happens if you damage a Turo car?
If you damage a Turo car (or if it is damaged by someone else while you’re renting it) you’re responsible for any associated costs.
If you have your own car insurance policy, it may cover you while driving a Turo rental, but you can also purchase additional coverage through a Turo protection plan to limit the amount you’ll be expected to pay out-of-pocket. And if you don’t have your own car insurance, you should purchase as much coverage as you can afford to make sure you are financially protected in an accident.
When someone else is at fault
If your Turo rental car was damaged by a third party, like if another driver runs a red light and hits you while you’re driving, the company will work with the at-fault driver’s car insurance company to pay for the damage.
When you’re at fault
If you were at fault in an accident in a Turo rental and you have your own car insurance, Turo will work with your car insurance company to pay for any associated costs. If you purchased a Turo protection plan, the company will determine how much you are responsible for paying based on your plan details.
The Turo protection plan purchased by the vehicle owner and the coverage purchased by the renter are separate policies and don’t affect one another; when you rent a Turo car you’re agreeing to take financial responsibility for damage during your rental period, but the amount the vehicle owner receives is based on the insurance plan they chose, not the coverage you purchased.
Rental car companies vs. Turo
Turo aims to be a new competitor to traditional car rental companies as well as a way for car owners to make a little extra money, but existing car rental services have their benefits too. Here’s how Turo compares to traditional car rental companies:
Standard car rental
Turo car sharing
Typically costs between $50-$100 per day, depending on the situation
Typically costs between $50-$100 per day, depending on the situation, but Turo sometimes has much cheaper options available as well
Drivers rent a car purchased specifically to be part of a rental fleet
Drivers rent someone else's personal vehicle
Drivers are given a general car type when reserving a vehicle and don't know exactly what car they'll end up driving
Drivers know exactly what car they'll be driving when they make the reservation
Probably covered by both your personal auto insurance policy and any auto insurance offered through your credit card if you use it to pay for your rental
Probably not covered by your personal auto insurance policy or by any auto insurance offered through your credit card
Drivers can choose whether to purchase supplemental insurance or use their personal auto coverage
Drivers have to purchase a protection plan when renting a vehicle
Car insurance for Turo hosts
Turo hosts (meaning the people who use Turo to lend out their cars) are not covered by their personal car insurance when their car is being rented out.
Turo offers their hosts the opportunity to purchase $750,000 in third-party liability coverage through Travelers. Turo offers five different levels of coverage for damage to your vehicle and roadside assistance as part of a physical damage reimbursement policy. The five levels of coverage for Turo hosts are:
60 plan: Earn 60% of the trip price with no deductible.
75 plan: Earn 75% of the trip price with a $250 deductible.
80 plan: Earn 80% of the trip price with a $750 deductible.
85 plan: Earn 85% of the trip price with a $1,625 deductible.
90 plan: Earn 90% of the trip price with a $2,500 deductible.
These numbers can be confusing, but essentially it just means that taking on more of the risk earns you more of the rental fees. Keep in mind that physical damage reimbursement is not actually insurance, it's a contractual allocation of risk between you and Turo.